Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Twenty Four!

Yes, twenty four is the quantity of astronomy observing sessions that I made last year.  Most of the sessions were solitary.  

A friend stopped by once in the wee hours of the morning to see Mars when it was at opposition and at another time, a neighbor came out to see what I was up to because he was having trouble sleeping.  

Most of my astronomy visitors have been of the varmint variety.  Skunks, deer, bats, and coyotes.  Coyotes, fortunately, have kept their distance.  I know that they are out there because they have an eerie howl.  Skunks?  I wish they'd keep their distance, but there was the time when one made a beeline toward the open garage.  Bats?  I like bats.  They flutter about eating bugs.  Deer are just a nuisance.  They do, however, make a spooky chuffing noise.  It will make the goosebumps rise . . .

Being fundamentally a hermit, I'm fine with the dearth of astronomy visitors.  I get to choose the astronomy targets and revel under the glory of our Bortle class 4 sky!

Here are images of targets from the last astronomy session of 2018.  I spent a couple of hours staring at these two through the eyepiece and with the imager.

(Click on the images to zoom in!)

The Leo Triplet

Also known as the M66 group
The Leo Triplet consists of M65, M66, and NGC 3628. I like how nicely it fits into the field of view of my new ZWO ASI294MC.  M65 and M66 were discovered by Charles Messier in 1780.  NGC 3628, was discovered by William Herschel in 1784.  It is also known as the "Hamburger Galaxy!"  Yum. 😎

Another Leo Galaxy Grouping

Eight Leo galaxies
When observing, once I have the telescope aligned and calibrated for a portion of the sky, I often like to just pan about to see what I can find.  That is how I "discovered" this grouping of galaxies.  The telescope was already aligned and in the constellation of Leo after finding the Leo Triplet.  I used the joystick controller to move the OTA and followed along with SkySafari.

The cool thing about this image is that a couple of the galaxies are almost 17 magnitude.  That is really dim for a mere 10 inch Dob!  This bodes well for the ZWO ASI294MC imager.

I'm looking forward to 2019's astronomy sessions!


  1. Varmits at night can be spooky when you hear them but don't see them! Happy 2019!

    1. I forgot to mention how loud the cows are. Moooo!


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